July, 2008

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Thursday, July 31st, 2008

There is a blog I pop into occasionally because the writer sometimes has these great ideas about homemaking and keeping a good schedule, but she is totally anti-Catholic. So if I see she’s written another entry about how wrong Catholics are, I try to skip over it. A person can find “evidence” to back up any preconceived notion on every topic imaginable and this woman finds the meanest most backwards examples for her evidence against the Catholic Church. She’s not even remotely open to exploring voices from the “other side”. Dave once tried to engage her in a discussion via her comments on her blog, but she didn’t post the comment nor did she respond.

So anyway today’s anti-Catholic topic was “Mary worship”. ARGH! Again, with the Mary worship thing. I couldn’t help myself, instead of skipping the entry I skimmed it. But as I skimmed it, I had a thought. Instead of even trying to get a word in edgewise with this woman, because she is soooooooooo incredibly entrenched in her issue with Catholics, I decided to instead be a tiny, speck of light for the Catholic Church on the web. I can’t write as some great intellectual theologian & philosopher, but I can speak from personal experience. I’m not thinking of trying to “take on” this woman’s ideas and prove them wrong either because as I wrote earlier…a person can find “evidence” to back up any thought that pops into their head. I could say that evolution made zebra’s heads migrate to the other end of the animal and find evidence to back it up. So proving her “wrong” isn’t going to be my point. What I can do is write what Jesus’ mother, Mary, has meant to me since becoming a Catholic. And whenever I happen to notice another topic of anti-Catholicism out there…maybe I’ll write another little something.

Just as a quick note because I don’t have time right now to write on this Mary topic…it has meant so much to me to be able to send up a quick thank you or even request to those Saints (and saints) who have gone before me to be with our Lord. I am always sending up prayers of thanks and request to our Lord, but every once in a while I can to “talk” to other saints. Let them know what their life as an example of living for Christ has meant to me or to ask them to petition our Lord on my behalf for some thing or other.

Why doesn’t it make sense that we can commune with those who lived on Earth for Christ and who have gone before us to be with Him? I love the fact that I can send up a prayer to my recently deceased grandmother. I can tell her things going on with her family so she can petition Christ just as I can from here on Earth. Just the other day one of her sons (my uncle) had to have a major heart surgery. I “told” grandma about it so she could petition Christ at the same time I was praying for him. If even our unspoken prayers reach the ears of Christ, why can’t they reach the Saints (and saints) who lived for Christ and are now in Heaven with Him? Not to be redundant, but how awesome is it that when I pray I not only pray directly to Christ, but I can call upon others already in Heaven to petition our Lord too. Why wouldn’t a non-Catholic Christian love that idea too. Man, I am forever calling upon those that have passed on before me for things. If you know me, you are a Christian and you die before me…guess what…I’m so going to be calling upon you to take things to Christ for me. Who has a better chance for a direct audience with Christ than someone who has been invited into His House (aka Heaven)?

Kind of a Busy Day Today

Thursday, July 31st, 2008

My usual agenda isn’t too jam packed, but today I’ve got rather a lot to do. I’ve got about 75 freshly packed maple syrup containers to label and tag. The farmer’s market is from 11-2 and it is supposed to rain pretty much that whole time…yuck. I am also going to be making my first batch of homemade laundry soap. Then I’ve got tons of green beans from our garden to blanch and freeze for use this coming fall/winter.

If I like the recipe I’ve chosen for my first batch of laundry soap, I’ll post it later. I’ve chosen a powdered version instead of some of the gel/liquid recipes out there. We have an HE front load washer so finding a recipe for a no suds detergent was a little more tricky.

The rain should be ended by 2PM so maybe if the soap making project gets finished early a load of experimental laundry can be hung out to dry!! Dave is always game for me trying these homemade and/or natural options.

Speaking of being game for trying natural options, my CNM (certified nurse midwife) I had an appointment with yesterday said she does NOT advocate natural/herbal options. I was bummed. I wanted to get her opinion of this herbal/vitamin I’ve been recommended called Fertilaid. She said if I want to try it go ahead, but she doesn’t believe in that stuff…just modern medicine. And she acknowledged that being a CNM that was a strange opinion. I really like this gal’s bedside manner, thus far and I’m hopeful that once I do get pregnant I can use her for the delivery. But I really would like to try more natural options. In my opinion, sometimes the things modern medicine does while “intervening” in the birth process is way overboard and harmful. I don’t think this gal goes to some of those extremes though. Her c-section rate is far lower than her MD ob/gyn counterparts at the hospital where she aids in deliveries. And I could still use her, but maybe find a good doula. We’ll see. Gotta get pregnant first (actually I need to ovulate first!!).

Yesterday’s Appointment

Thursday, July 31st, 2008

Well, clomid it is. We start taking it next cycle. And I am so praying this is the extra little push we needed to get pregnant. I’m potentially dealing with PCOS…maybe. If two rounds of clomid do not work, then we’ll be sent to a fertility specialist who can further diagnose why I’m not ovulating. So we’re saying lots of prayers.

My Day

Wednesday, July 30th, 2008

Well, this morning I’ve got an appointment with the CNM (certified nurse midwife) I see for all things reproductively related. We’re going to have the clomid talk since the glucophage I’ve been taking (which makes me sick as anything) for ovulation regulation has not worked one bit. I’ve also had recommended to me NaPro Technology and Fertilaid recently. Because of my age and the fact that we are talking about time clipping by, I’m going to ask to do a round or two of clomid first. I’d love to go a more natural route, but time is an issue in my case.

After that appointment, I need to come home and pack more maple syrup for the Farmer’s Markets. We’ve been selling syrup pretty well the last few weeks and the last 10 gallons we packed is almost gone. So Dave brought in another 10 gallons last evening for me to process (heat and package in smaller containers). We’ve been getting more sales on the realmaplesyrup.com website as well. So things are good in the syrup world.

If I have time later I might find a few recipes that use maple syrup for things other than pancakes/waffles. Dave and I talked about having a handout available at our table with recipes for people. We’re also talking about adding a pancake mix from a New England based company to augment out sales. And I’m also going to put together a couple of gift baskets full of maple and maple related products.

My nephew, JB, has been helping me with the Farmer’s Market on Mondays. It is nice to have the company and he’s turning into a good little salesman!

My sister-in-law back in IL e-mailed me new pictures of my gorgeous little nieces! I’ll have to get Dave to put them on here for me since I don’t know how to do that.

Morning starting off well

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2008

I got up a bit earlier than usual this morning. Dave gets up at 6, watches a few minutes of news (which I sleep through generally), checks his email, showers and then I wake up and join him for breakfast. But this morning I got moving right after he finished watching the news. I made his lunch and then we had breakfast. Honestly, our morning moves smoother when I make his lunch before breakfast. But I also know how much I love sleeping that extra 30 minutes too.

After Dave left, I took Bailey outside for a walk. (Bailey is one of my cats.) Dave bought a harness with a leash so I can take Bailey outside to explore occasionally. Bailey has NEVER been outside except briefly and while in a cat cage in all his 13 years. He’s been out now maybe 4 times on the harness and he’s really good on it. He sniffs around on the porch, then walks down the stairs and plops down on the sidewalk, fights briefly with the leash then walks around on the sidewalk and driveway. He just isn’t into the grass stuff yet…won’t even walk on it.

It’s raining here now so I guess I’ll have to wait to hang clothes out on the clothes line until later.

I hope everyone’s day is off to a good start! I’m off to have some quiet time with our Lord and then get busy checking things off my things-to-do list!

Hot and Humid

Monday, July 21st, 2008

Good golly it is yucky outside today. I had to tend to grocery shopping and it was even hot in the grocery store. Dave told me that meteorological speaking the climax of summer for this area is July 28th! I’m so looking forward to fall already.

A friend of ours, Maria, began a new blog recently. I thought I’d make a link back to it here. You’ll have to cut and paste this address since I’m not sure how to make an actual link yet. http://hailmaryfullofgrace-mt.blogspot.com/

First Blueberry Pie!

Saturday, July 19th, 2008

I made one apple pie many years ago, failed so miserably that I only recently got the nerve to try pie making again. We bought some beautiful blueberries from a roadside farm stand that we just crying out to be made into Blueberry Pie.

Since I’m no master crust maker, yet, I cheated a bit and bought Pillsbury refrigerated pie dough. And the point of this endeavor was to work on the inside of the pie anyway. I didn’t have a recipe so I searched online and found a simple recipe from the winner of a Maine wild blueberry pie making contest.

It turned out really yummy! It was a little runny, but I learned from one of my farmer’s market friends that homemade blueberry pies are supposed to look like that. Apparently, the pies from the store (which are the only blueberry pies I’ve ever had) have tons of cornstarch in them to make them pretty. The juices in my pie are spectacular.

I think the next time I make this pie I will decrease the amount of sugar by a bit. Maybe even try maple sugar instead of regular white cane sugar. And I might increase the corn starch by just one more tablespoon to make it a tiny bit more solid.

Here is the recipe I used for the filling, but I’ve included her entire recipe:

Rita’s Simply Blueberry Pie (source is www.marthastewart.com)

Makes 1 pie

* 1 tablespoon lemon juice
* 5 cups fresh berries
* 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
* 1 cup granulated sugar (I’m going to decrease this by just a bit, next time.)
* 2 tablespoons cornstarch (I’m going to try 3 next time.)
* 1 tablespoon butter
* 2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
* 1/3 cup cake flour
* 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
* 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
* 1/2 cup ice water
* 1 egg white
* 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
* 1 tablespoon water
* 1 teaspoon brown sugar


1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Make the filling: Sprinkle lemon juice on berries. Mix flour, sugar, and cornstarch. Add to berries, and toss lightly. Set aside.
2. Make the crust: In a large bowl, mix flour, sugar, and salt. Using a pastry cutter or two knives, cut in vegetable shortening and butter until coarse. Add ice water, and mix gently until moist. Form two balls, and roll out one of them to line pie plate. Spoon filling into unbaked crust. Dot with butter. Roll out second ball, and cover pie. Fold edges of top crust under bottom crust, and flute edges. Slit top of pie to vent.
3. Make egg glaze: In a small bowl, beat egg white with 1 tablespoon water. Brush top of pie with mixture, and sprinkle with white and brown sugar. Bake for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees. and bake until filling bubbles, about 45 minutes.

Sad news from IL

Tuesday, July 15th, 2008

I had not so great news from my mother yesterday. One of my uncles, very unexpectedly, needed heart surgery yesterday. He had three arteries very much clogged. I’m so very thankful that his condition was caught. My thoughts and prayers are with he and his family today.

My mom also told me one of my aunts had to put her beloved dog down yesterday evening. So all in all it sounds like it was a yucky day for part of my extended family back in IL.

The Death Orb Strikes Back

Friday, July 11th, 2008

The Death Orb (aka the Sun) was gracious enough to burn the stuffing out of me yesterday at the Farmer’s Market. I, unwisely, decided not to wrestle with the tent and instead sat for most of three hours under the baking sun. With my genetic disposition, a person would think I’d know better…but NO! So today I am suffering with badly burnt arms, mildly burnt face and blistered upper chest and a stripe of burnt area on one side of my neck. Stupid Sun!

Catholics Come Home

Wednesday, July 9th, 2008

Today I was exploring a site I came across called Catholics Come Home (www.catholicscomehome.org/) (I don’t know how to make an actual link yet on this blog). This site is pretty neat.

Since I’m a convert to Catholicism I really like reading stories of people who left the Church and came back, are coming to the Church for the first time or just have a renewed interest in their faith. I love a program on EWTN called Journey Home because I’m always finding points of similarity with the person being interviewed.

Anyway, this Catholics Come Home site has wonderful answers to questions about the Catholic faith that non-Catholics and folks just interested in the Catholic Church ask. A nice solid resource.

Today I also found a pdf file online with a worksheet showing how you can read through the whole Bible AND Catechism in a year. I think Dave will really enjoy this. We are always looking for new ways to spend a little time in our faith everyday.